: OTA For A Condo or Building: MATV
2007-01-22, 03:22 PM
I live in a 40 unit condo building.
I have limited succuss with an indoor antenna so I wanted to put an antenna on the roof.
If I put the antenna up there... Can I split the signal so that everyone can view the HDTV signal?
2007-01-22, 03:28 PM
You can save yourself $$$ by planning and implementing an MATV system for your condo with our help, or you can get a pro do do it.
It depends on what is already in place in your building. Do the suites already have a central CATV system from a cable company, or maybe a central Satellite dish system for all the units?
If there isn't any central system you'd have to install all that yourself, which can be an extremely difficult job. If that's the case, I would get quotations from professionals for a central system and then feed it from antennas that we can help you with here.
Looking at your previous posts I see you are in Laval, so you could also check the Quebec thread in the OTA Equipment & Vendors Forum to see who does that kind of work.
2007-01-22, 03:28 PM
I am sure it can be done, but it would take a whole bunch of preamps and distribution amplifiers to make it work so that the signal is distributed to all the units. I mean, it's not as if the existing cabling in the building will allow you to use theirs.
Also, if the transmission towers originate from different directions, you will need to set up some sort of antenna array (2 or more antennas) so that you won't need a rotor for people who want to watch signals from one channel while others another from a different direction.
2007-01-22, 03:33 PM
Cyclism, it all depends on the contract with the cable or satellite provider as to where the service demarcation is located. Often it is considered to be the point at which the feed enters the wall going in.
With a good MATV system there aren't many amps needed - usually its attenuation that is done because the central backbone runs RG11 at high signal levels and each of the RG6 or RG59 taps per unit is throttled down with attenuation as needed, using a meter at each wall plate, one by one.
2007-01-22, 03:39 PM
That's a point I never considered. However, can you run both an MATV system and a cable and/or satellite signal to run in parallel using the same distribution system?
I mean I'm a big proponent of OTA, I made the switch completely (thanks to you and this Forum) but for those in the building who still want all the channels that cable and satellite offer compared to OTA, can they use the same outlets?
2007-01-22, 03:40 PM
If the condo is already wired for satellite to each unit, the OTA can be diplexed into the existing cabling backbone at the head end dish's output, and the wall plates in each unit would be converted to reverse-diplex to give ANT and SAT outlets. If there is no documentation about the earlier cabling install, all existing cable taps would need to be tested to see if they allow VHF/FM/UHF bands and repaired as needed.
If the condo is already wired for CATV, there is going to be a really big hassle installing central OTA. I would not recommend it, even with parallel taps to each unit, because the risk of end users crossing them is too great, resulting in Industry Canada possibly shutting the whole thing down for signal leakage offenses.
2007-01-22, 03:49 PM
Another thing, Roberto: is the condo one big building, a few buildings, or is it like townhouses? This will help decide how easy or hard it would be to string them with an MATV system. Townhouses are easy, big buildings sometimes are not.
2007-01-22, 03:51 PM
Also, wouldn't people need tuners? For people with built-in NTSC and ATSC tuners in their TVs this shouldn't be a problem, but for those who don't....or does the tuner come before the distribution in an MATV system?
2007-01-22, 04:02 PM
Yep, tuners are the very last links in the chain - the user's TV or FM radio is the actual end point in a MATV system.
Some MATV admins might choose to run a closed-circuit channel for the condo from a DVD, digital VCR, or computer featuring building announcements and muzak - your very own TV station with no license required! :D
A BEV 9200 or 6100 satellite receiver could also input the ANT cable and get the OTA stations through the same STB.
2007-01-22, 04:05 PM
I thought so, and that's why this is going to be a real hassle if there is a pre-existing CATV system.
2007-01-22, 04:08 PM
I've edited some of my previous posts in this thread to give a bit more info. I did some MATV installs a long time ago and its not difficult if you plan properly.
2007-01-22, 04:38 PM
Wow, already 10 replies...
Our building currently has an expressvu dish at the top that is connected to the basement which redistributes it to each unit.
to set up the antenna on the roof and run wiring if any, would cost me how much approximately?
EDIT: Also we don't have any CCTV running on it... On top of that you only get the ExpressVu signal when you request it. Right now I don't have anything connected at all.
2007-01-22, 04:43 PM
I'm just curious because my building has multiple cable providers (Shaw and Novus.) I assume they both have feeds into a "closet" (central or per floor perhaps?) where they can then connect each unit to one or the other. Also, all the outlets in a unit appear to connected to eachother. (I currently do not have cable but I have my OTA antenna connected to the bedroom jack and my tuner in the livingroom and it works great. Reception in the bedroom is much better than the livingroom and my signal strength is about 10-20% better and enough to make CTV rock solid from very tricky to tune, even with the antenna on a long cable to my solarium which faces the same way as my bedroom, both with a clear view of Mount Seymour.)
Anyhow, I would love it if I could suggest the strata to install an OTA antenna or two on the roof to hopefully recieve SeaTac and local stations, and give those people without cable the option of being connected to that instead. From the sound of it, it wouldn't be a simple or inexpensive thing to do though. Also, it doesn't help those people that would like both.
Oh, and I belive the building does have a CCTV for the entrances but it is only possible to recieve this channel if you subscribe to cable.
2007-01-22, 05:02 PM
Normally, for a headend system, you would use an antenna and a channel filter for each and every channel you want to recieve. Then after you've filtered out the noise, you can amplify and combine them together for distribution, just like any cable system. Cable companies translate channels to avoid multipath, but that's not a problem with DTV.
You can't combine that with any cable syems because you'd have conflicts.
You could combine with sat signals, because they are in different freq bands.
2007-01-22, 06:32 PM
So in Summary, It could be done with a Sat system pre-installed in the building.
So all that would be necessary to do this is decide on getting a good Antenna (costing would be max $1000-1500)
Is there any additional costs other than installing the Antenna?
2007-01-22, 08:02 PM
Here is a suggestion as to which antenna(s) to use (keeneye is also in Laval):
For you I would recommend a CM4228 UHF with a Delhi 306 VHF/FM so that your viewers can watch the UHFs as well as Channel 13, and also get radio stations from down there.
If you decide to go ahead with this, let us know and we'll help you plan and implement it. :)
2007-01-22, 11:26 PM
Thanks for the suggestion. My next step is to get a quote from a company for a few models and then I want to present it to board and hopefully they will approve on splitting the costs.
I will definitely keep you up to date.
2007-01-23, 12:06 PM
If you are using a diplexer to combine the Satalite and antenna signals onto one cable, then everyone who wants both satalite and OTA will also need a diplexer to separate the signals. I don't think these cost very much.
2007-01-23, 12:16 PM
Diplexing would be part of the MATV system itself, so the RG11 backbone would be split off at each suite with an RG6 tap feeding into a diplexer behind the wall plate. The diplexer's OTA output would be attenuated as needed, and so the home owner would have a receptacle cover with two F59 female connectors - one marked SAT and the other marked TV/FM.
A typical home owner would connect their satellite receiver's coax to the SAT port, and then from the TV/FM port have a splitter with one lead going to their FM tuner and the other to their TV tuner.
2007-01-23, 08:17 PM
1) IANAL (I Am Not A Lawyer)
2) The research I did was years ago, and things may have changed
Before you spend money on any equipment, spend the money for a legal opinion. Years ago, I did some legwork for the condo I was a resident of. At the time any situation where ONE ANTENNA FEEDS MORE THAN ONE RESIDENCE was "deemed" to be a BDU (Broadcast Distribution Undertaking). This meant that you were allowed to carry only the stations that Rogers/Shaw/ExpressVu/StarChoice are allowed to carry. And "must-carry" and simsub regulations also apply. There may be slightly looser requirements for systems with less than 5,000 customers, but don't assume that you can simply flout KanKon regulations without the RCMP coming in and seizing your equipment, and arresting the condo board.
The way the regulations were worded...
- a rooftop antenna with a splitter feeding both halves of a duplex is "deemed" to be a BDU
- one antenna feeding the 40 units is obviously a BDU
- 40 separate antennas on the roof, each one feeding ONLY ONE SUITE is not deemed to be a BDU
Re-read my disclaimers at the top. I urge you to see a lawyer who is familiar with these regulations. If you don't know any, ask the "Law Society" (or whatever it's called) in your province to provide you with names of some lawyers who can help.